Donnie Donaldson has been dismissed as head coach of Ceres High's varsity softball program.
Donaldson was fired after meeting with Linda Stubbs, the school's principal, just after 11 a.m. on Monday.
"The hiring and firing of coaches is a site-level decision," Ceres Unified School District Supt. Scott Siegel said. "I trust Mrs. Stubbs. She conducted a thorough, impartial investigation and it was reviewed by the district."
Donnie, a walk-on coach with the Bulldogs for the past eight years, believes he was wrongfully terminated.
"I know the reason why they fired me," Donaldson said. "They're not going to admit to it. They're going to try to save face. I'm not embarrassed. I'm disappointed in the district. I don't want this to get shoved under the rug. I want the truth to surface. These small-town politics have to stop. It's a witch hunt."
"At this point in time, I really can't give you a reason because it's a personnel issue," Siegel said. "It's not a criminal matter."
Donaldson and his supporters plan to express their displeasure and seek answers during the June 26 Ceres School Board meeting.
"There is a process in place if he has a concern he has been treated unfairly," Siegel said. "There's an appeal process through the district office. He can also file a uniform complaint if he wants to pursue this further."
Donaldson served as head coach of the Bulldogs from 2007-2014.
Ceres High posted a 139-77 record, qualified for the postseason six times and won two league titles under his guidance. The Bulldogs placed fourth in the section playoffs the past three years.
"My character is being questioned," Donaldson said. "I've been coaching for eight years. I only try to do positive things. There are some legal aspects to all of this. I don't know what my plan of action is yet. There are some parents that are livid. Ultimately, I'd like to continue to coach this team and love for the athletes to stay at Ceres High School. This could damage the entire sports program."
Said Siegel: "I'm not going to put winning ahead of certain principles."